The Town of Dalhousie, the shiretown of Restigouche County since 1837, is situated on the Bay of Chaleur, the name given to the bay by Jacques Cartier in 1534. Dalhousie’s first Acadian settlers, Louis and Joseph Arseneault, arrived around 1796; years later in 1820 came a massive wave of immigration. Settling on the Bay of Chaleur with the Micmacs and a few Acadians, were Scottish immigrants who came from the Isle of Arran in Scotland. Captain John Hamilton, one of the first settlers, brought many immigrants with him.
Hamilton Monument, built by Bowman of Glasgow, Scotland, was erected on a prominent hillside (now 315 Victoria Street) in 1851. Circa 1929, it was moved to its present location between the Dalhousie Centennial Library and the Courthouse. The inscription on the monument expresses the gratitude of Dalhousie’s Presbyterian community for Captain Hamilton’s leadership and help during the early years of the town. Hamilton Monument is designated a Local Historic Place.
In 1829, during the Highland Clearences in Scotland, Captain Hamilton sailed the brig “Corsair”, loaded with settlers from his native island of Arran, to the new town of Dalhousie. He became a prominent merchant, an exporter of square timber and a major benefactor to the Church of Scotland in Dalhousie.
Captain Hamilton passed the last ten years of his life in his native land, and died at Irvine August 24th, 1848 at 80 years of age.
During the World War Two, the Royal Canadian Navy named their ships after towns and cities. Since no two Allied warship could share the same name, the RCN began to run out of names and came up with the idea of using names associated with selected communities. HMCS Inch Arran was named for Inch Arran Point in Dalhousie. The point was named by John Hamilton a former native of the Island of Arran in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. The word “inch” is also of Scottish origin and refers to a small point of land. HMCS Inch Arran remained in service to the end of the war and as late as the 1960s.
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